Bo Bigelow: Homemade Slip 'n' Slide

Posted on September 30, 2013 – 11:08 am

Summer without a slip 'n' slide is like fall without gigantic piles of leaves.

Problem is, the slip 'n' slide they sell in stores just isn't long enough. You get some momentum and next thing you know, you have a grass burn, all the way up your back. Youch.

So this summer I made my own slip 'n' slide in my backyard. I found a design I liked from Ken Denmead. Then I tweaked it, so it'd be super-duper long, and also really wide, so multiple kids could go down safely.

Finally, those multiple kids (i.e., my nephews) tweaked MY design, in order to substantially reduce safety.

SUPPLIES

Here's what I used:

- Blue Hawk clear 6 mil extra heavy-duty plastic sheeting, 10' x 100'

- 2 pkgs of Velcro tape

- Banzai Spray 'n' Play Silly Snake Pool

- ACE Hardware sprinkler hose

- grommet set

- garden stakes (small enough to fit through the grommets)

- 12 foam pool noodles (not pictured)

All available at ACE Hardware, except the plastic sheeting, which I got at Lowe's, and the pool noodles, which I got at Wal-Mart.

HOW I MADE IT

1.) First I rolled the plastic out and placed the pool noodles all along the sides. The noodles were to serve as bumpers.

2.) Next, I doubled the plastic along the edges, folded the plastic over the pool noodles, and used Velcro tape to stick the plastic to itself and contain the noodles inside.

3) Then I used the grommet set to make a bunch of grommets all the way down the sides of the plastic, about every 10' on each side. Best to put the grommets between the pool noodles. Like so:

Then I pushed the garden stakes through the grommets into the ground, in order to anchor down the sheeting. (Side note: this is probably when you ought to kiss your lawn goodbye. The sheeting pretty much kills your grass, even if it's only down for a few hours.)

4.) I ran a sprinkler hose down the side, on the slide itself. The end of it was pretty hard metal, so I cut off a piece of pool noodle and cushioned that sucker.

5.) The ground was pretty hard in the spot where kids were throwing themselves down onto the slide, so I made one more modification. I grabbed a few of these puzzle-piece foam mats.

Then I undid the stakes at the top, rolled back the plastic, and put down the mats on the ground. Then I replaced the plastic and re-anchored it.

RESULTS

After a few lackluster attempts to get all the way down the slide, my nephews went into the house, grabbed a full container of Dawn dishwashing liquid, and emptied the entire thing onto the slide. I have to admit--it did make the slide pretty fast, which was cool. The design is solid, but the slide got moved around quite a bit; I recommend continually refastening the stakes and also repositioning the padding at the top.We had a huge bounce house on our lawn on the same day as the slip 'n' slide, but all the kids preferred the slip 'n' slide. Almost immediately, thirty-odd kids were in our backyard, lining up to slide, while the bounce house sat completely empty on our front lawn, its fan whirring away for no one. Pretty sad. So save your money--don't rent a bounce house, and make the slip 'n' slide instead.

Good luck, and happy sliding!

Source: www.bobigelow.com

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